Chicago Cubs: The decision for Butler over Grimm

(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /
3 of 6
Chicago Cubs
(Photo by Jon Durr/Getty Images) /

Moving Butler to the pen?

There also might be some potential advantages to moving Butler to the bullpen. Many pitchers get a little bit of an increase in their velocity on their fastball when they move from the rotation to the bullpen. Some pitchers also focus more on their best pitches, since they are only pitching to a few batters at a time. Those two factors are said to be the reasons Dillon Maples turned his career around after he was moved to the bullpen last season.

However, the Cubs have shown a preference for relief pitchers with a large assortment of pitches. Using several different pitches instead of just a couple is thought to be one of the reasons for Brian Duensing successful 2017 season. So the number of different pitches a relief pitcher uses is just a matter of what works best for each person.

Butler has yet to pitch in the major leagues for a full season. As such he may still have some untapped potential that is yet to be discovered. Perhaps the move to the bullpen will help him to find his niche.

Unfortunately, all of this is still just theory since Butler’s injury has prevented us from seeing him pitch out of the bullpen for more than just those first six appearances.